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Dogs die in hot cars, warns RSPCA

The RSPCA is urging owners not to leave their pets in cars or conservatories when theweather is hot.

Despite repeated warnings, a catalogue of incidents where dogs have been in serious danger of dying of heat exposure have been reported to the animal charity.

Cases of careless behaviour this summer include:

  • A three-month-old male Rottweiler who died after being left alone in a conservatory last week
  • Nine reports of dogs who were left in cars in the south west of England last weekend
  • Two dogs who were rescued from a car at a showground in Kent earlier this month
  • A dog who was tied to a lamppost and left in the hot sun with no water in Essex last weekend
  • Two Staffordshire bull terriers who were rescued from a car in Nottingham last week

The RSPCA’s acting chief veterinary officer Steve Cheetham says: “A dog left in a car, conservatory, greenhouse, caravan or shed will quickly begin to suffer from heat-stroke and can die an agonising death.

“Owners must realise there isno safe way to leave a dog like this in warm weather,” says Steve. “Even when the weather is not particularly hot, dogs can quickly suffer from heat-stroke as up to 90% of their body is covered in hair. Leaving windows open and a bowl of water outis not enough.”

Remember these RSPCA tips for a safe summer:

  • Even if you park your car in the shade, the position of the sun will change
  • Young and elderly animals are more susceptible to heat
  • Leaving windows open or putting a bowl of water does not help
  • If a dog becomes overheated, give it a shower immediately or bath it in cool water
  • Call a vet as soon as possible, as once the dog goes into shock and loses consciousness it may be too late
  • Be aware thatanimals can suffer from sunburn, particularly white dogs and cats. Owners should cover any white extremities, especially ear tips, with the highest possible factor sun cream at least once a day and before the animal goes outside

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